Born in the Netherlands Smeijers studied at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem (1980-1985). He worked as a designer in the Industrial Design section of the Research and Development Department at Océ Nederland (1987-1991), where he participated in designing fonts for their early laser printers. In 1992, he co-founded the graphic design group Quadraat in Arnhem and in 1996 the group changed its name to Het Lab. In 1997 he left Het Lab and set up his own business, called ‘Fred Smeijers plus, tailored type and typography’. He designed word-marks and custom fonts for various clients, ranging from screen fonts to fonts for specific products (ie. the Philips Scripts for Philips home appliances). Among his typeface designs are FF Quadraat & FF Quadraat Sans (FSI), Renard (The Enschedé Font Foundry), DTL Nobel (DTL), Arnhem, Fresco, Monitor and Sansa. The last four are available from OurType, the font-publishing label that he co-founded in 2002. Smeijers has published several articles on typography in various design magazines, and is the author of Counterpunch: making type in the sixteenth century, designing type now (1996) and Type Now, a manifesto + work so far (2003), both published by Hyphen Press in London. He taught at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem and Breda, and lectures on typography at various academic institutions (such as the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp; the postgraduate course Type & Media at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague; the postgraduate course of MA Typeface Design at Reading University in the UK). In 2004, he was appointed Professor of Digital Typography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig. He was awarded the international Gerrit Noordzij Prize for type design in 2000, for outstanding contribution to type design, type education, research and writing.
Image: Lara Assouad, Fred Smeijers 25 May 2007
Fresco Arabic text sample
Sample of Fresco Arabic and Fresco Latin side by side.